Veeam-centric backup storage company Object First looks for new partners at VMware Explore

Object First, created by Veeam’s two co-founders and run by former Webroot and Axcient CEO David Bennett, focuses on immutability and ransomware recovery, and as a year-old startup, is looking for more partners to get their message out to customers.

David Bennett, Object First’s CEO

LAS VEGAS –  Object First, an object storage-based backup storage appliance purpose-built for Veeam, which launched a year ago, was a sponsor at the VMware Explore event here. The company, which was created by Veeam co-founders Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov, makes a purpose-bult backup storage appliance for Veeam, with hardened security and features and security specifically tailored for Veeam’s requirements. They emphasize their built-in immutability, something that many solutions in the market do not have, and stress their ability to recover from ransomware, not just detect it.

“VMware is Veeam’s biggest customer base,” said David Bennett, Object First’s CEO, who had previously been CEO at Axcient, and at Webroot before that. “If Veeam is somewhere. it makes sense for us to be attached to it.”

While Object First is not introducing any new product at the show, they are showing off and demonstrating their core product Ootbi by Object First. They are  touting both its strong built-in immutability, and by extension, its effectiveness against ransomware.

“We are creating a new category of budget with this, the immutable solution,” said Vitaly Sukhovsky, VP Channel at Object First.

Sponsoring VMware Explore also brings Object First into close proximity with VMware’s more technical users.

“We don’t actually have a formal relationship with VMware, but we do with VMware user groups, and various elements of the VMware underground,” Bennett said. “We are always looking to connect with the VMware users. This is a more technical audience at VMware Explore, so this is a great place to engage with them.”

Bennett said that he is pleased with the company’s progress in the first year since their launch.

“The thing I’m most happy about, is that when you launch, until someone pays you money, you don’t really know what they think,” he stated. “Every customer who has paid us money have told us that they have been delighted with their experience.”

Out of the gate, Object First launched in the U.S. and Canada.

“We are expanding into LatAm now, and into EMEA in September,” Bennett said. “APAC is probably next year.”

While the target audience for Ootbi is fairly broad, Object First is initially focusing on the midmarket.

“We are starting in the middle, but this really fits anyone with a use case for half a PB of storage,” Bennett said. “It works well with distributed enterprises too.”

Bennett also emphasized that Object First’s focus is on the ability to recover quickly and effectively from a ransomware attack.

“Most companies in this space are focused on ransomware detection,” he said. “Detection is a waste of time if you can’t recover. We don’t try and add fancy bells and whistles.”

Object First’s competitors are a very broad assortment of companies.

“We don’t see one particular vendor,” he said. “Our competitors are a mixture, and include Exagrid, Cloudian, Dell, and HP StoreOne.”

Vitaly Sukhovsky, VP Channel at Object First

Object First is also actively looking for the right kind of channel partners at VMware Explore.

“We are the new kid on the block, so to get more end user and partner recognition, and to maximize our capacity as a small company, we are looking at Veeam partners with a high interest in ransomware,” Sukhovsky said. “As a new company, the more partners with sellers know of us, the more end users we can meet. Any partner who sells Veeam successfully, especially around immutability, will do well with us.”

Looking forward, Bennett thinks Object First is well place to grow its business through the channel.

“We have done a lot of work to understand what is needed in the industry and we continue to have the best storage and experience for Veeam,” he said. “Immutabiity as a function didn’t exist three years ago, because there wasn’t a need. Now there is, and we replace a lot of old designs.”

“We need to be focused with a very simple message to the market,” Sukhovsky concluded. “We take 15 minutes to rack and stack and run your first solution.”